Everett Archives: The Rucker Mansion
If you’ve been around Everett for a while, you’ve likely heard of the Rucker Mansion.
Arguably the most notable home in all of Everett. The Rucker Mansion was the first in Everett to be added to the National Historic Registry.
Located at the top of Rucker Hill in the Port Gardner neighborhood, the house is beautiful, no doubt. There are lots of beautiful homes in Everett, though. So what makes the Rucker Mansion so special?
A number of things, actually. Here are our top three:
The Rucker Mansion was built by the founders of Everett
Built in 1905 by the Rucker Brothers (Wyatt and Bethel) for $30,000, the Rucker Mansion was a gift for Bethel’s new bride, Ruby Brown Rucker. Bethel and Ruby shared the house with Bethel’s brother, Wyatt, and their mother, Jane Rucker.
It’s said the mansion has been maintained in much of its original character. A flyer from when the mansion sold in the 1990s states:
“The Rucker Mansion contains 10,000 square feet on 2.74 acres. The four floors include five bathrooms, four bedrooms, a library, parlor, formal living room and dining room, entertainment level on the ground floor and a ballroom on the fourth floor. There are five fireplaces; an elevator; hand-cut, beveled, leaded glass; and handsome woodwork and wall coverings.”
Oh yes, and don’t forget the carriage house and amazing views overlooking the Olympic Mountains, Port Gardner Bay, the Cascade Mountains and much of the city that the Rucker Brothers helped create.
Soon after the mansion was completed, the Herald described it as, “Without a doubt one of the finest residences ever constructed in the Pacific Northwest.”
The Rucker Brothers certainly weren’t the only founders of Everett, but they were the only founders that embraced Everett and stuck around. The Rucker Mansion proves it.
2. The Rucker Mansion was the start of Everett’s first suburb
When the mansion was built atop Rucker Hill in 1905, it was the first home on the entire hill. Away from downtown Everett, it was considered Everett’s first suburb. A place to “get away from the city.” Apparently “getting away” had a different meaning in the days of horse-drawn carriages.
The large narrow-winding loop of Laurel Drive, now full of homes, was once the mansions sole driveway. Which kind of makes sense, because even still today the public street feels awkwardly narrow as it squeezes between the mansion on one side of the street and its carriage house on the other.
3. Barb sold it twice and Chris lived there!
You know that flyer we mentioned earlier from when the mansion sold in the 1990s? That happened to be one of Barb Lamoureux’s flyers. Barb actually sold the mansion twice in the 90s.
Being such a large and important house, a caretaker needed to live there while the home was on the market. Chris Lamoureux and his young family were the perfect fit. Chris and his wife, Sam, lived in the house when their first child was just an infant.
Chris reminisces about the days they lived there.
“The views were amazing, especially from the fourth floor ballroom,” Chris said.
He also admitted they got trapped in the old elevator more than a couple times.
“We were young, and it was an old style elevator. Honestly, I just don’t think we understood how it worked,” Chris said, followed by a chuckle.
Chris and his family lived there for a while, too. It wasn’t an easy sell. The market wasn’t very good at the time. Barb recalls the seller got to the point where they had to even consider parting out the mansion. Thankfully, Barb was able to get a newspaper article ran about the house being endangered.
“It didn’t take long to sell after that,” Barb recalls. “It’s my favorite house in Everett. I get chills just thinking of all the history there. I’m so glad it could be saved.”
The Rucker Mansion still stands today at 412 Laurel Drive as a dignified reminder of our city’s history. A special house that reminds us we live in a special place.
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